Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner

Like most families, we’ve got many great memories of past holidays and vacations. Most of the memories are linked to family and friends who have joined us for these occasions. We will never forget those Thanksgivings in Keller, Texas when most of the kids and grand-kids showed up. The differences in where we lived in Texas versus their lives in California were substantial and that alone made the trips exciting and added to the fun and joy for them and we felt it too.

I’ve got a little story here about a Thanksgiving when there was no family with us and it was just Pat and I. The three kids were grown and out of the house. They had all made commitments to spouses, future spouses, out–of-town hosts and others.

Pat and I hadn’t made any firm plans but Thanksgiving morning was so beautiful we decided to go to Mission Beach and ride our bikes for a couple of hours and then go find some restaurant that was serving turkey dinners.

We started our bike ride in south Mission Beach where man-made Mission Bay is only a couple of blocks east of the Pacific Ocean. Riding north on Bayside Walk,   the bay and its adjoining beach are on your right, while on your left you have the beautifully landscaped residences and vacation homes. It is always a stimulating ride due to the interesting beach-type homes and if you keep your eyes open you will spot some beautiful flowers like those of the plumeria plant that Hawaiians use to make leis. I don’t know the exact distance, possibly a mile and a half, and Bayside Walk takes you north until you get to the Catamaran Village Hotel. Just before getting to the Catamaran, you turn left onto San Raphael Street and go west about 2 blocks to the Boardwalk and the ocean. At the Boardwalk, we always turned north and continued to Crystal Pier, at the foot of Garnet Avenue.

It’s a great bike ride from Crystal Pier, south, to the Mission Beach jetty. It’s more than 2 ¾ miles and the Boardwalk is smooth concrete and probably 14 to 18 feet wide. There is plenty of room for walkers, joggers, skaters, and bicyclists.

Getting back to the story, Pat and I took off down the Boardwalk and were surprised at how few people were out and about. It was a pleasant ride down to South Mission Beach and we soon arrived at the parking lot south of the roller coaster where we had left our car. We were both getting hungry and as we loaded the bikes into the car couldn’t help noticing the large number of people around Doña Maria’s Restaurant about a block down and on the other side of the street. We decided to go check it out.

When we got to Doña Maria’s there was a line of people extending out through the front door. We got in line, figuring they must be serving up some excellent turkey dinners. The line moved right along and we were soon in the foyer and smelling turkey and stuffing and all the other wonderful things they were cooking. However, as we stepped into the main area of the restaurant we were shocked to see what was going on! There were a lot of people seated and eating and there were also bright lights and TV cameras. We were able to hear a reporter as he extolled the virtues of the local charity responsible for this Thanksgiving Dinner for the Homeless People of San Diego. As we heard that, we ducked our heads and tried to make ourselves invisible as we headed for the door. We had unintentionally tried to score a dinner as homeless people!

We got to the car and laughed at each other’s red faces and sheepish looks. We drove over to Old Town, San Diego and found an Italian restaurant that was serving turkey dinners. As we enjoyed the turkey and all the trimmings it almost became a religious experience. We were giving thanks that we had escaped Doña Maria’s without humiliation and were praying that we wouldn’t show up on the 6 O’clock News.

Dave Thomas
November 25, 2014

Quick and Easy

From the Older Guy-

Well, I’ve had both Covid shots and the booster. There’s nothing to it. They jab the needle in your arm, and inject the stuff. Then, they cover the spot with a Band-Aid to keep the vaccine from leaking out.

Dave Thomas

11/11/2021

Much Obliged

Good morning! I am sitting here with a hot cup of coffee thanks to the magical Keurig coffee machine. The coffee is rich but smooth coffee is Costco’s Medium blend. I also enjoy their Breakfast Blend when I am sleepy and need a jolt to get my motor running. A couple of months ago, we had some Paul Newman that was equally good. Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised when going to a restaurant and find that they serve Kona coffee, and, day by day, the best place in town for a cup of coffee is McDonald’s.

Who do you think we owe for this wonderful way to start the day? I can imagine some caveman out scouting for food, spotting some coffee beans, and popping them into his mouth. After a couple of chews and a swallow, he probably barfed up his guts. How then did we get from the caveman to a drinkable cup of coffee? Who figured out that you have to grind the beans, add water, and add heat? How long did it take? Was it a matter of centuries? Whoever figured this out, I would like for he or she or them to know that I am much obliged.

Dave Thomas

11/8/2021

Sgt. Gee and Patriot One

Pat and I heard a very interesting and compelling story from our daughter-in-law, Cindy, regarding members of her side of the family. The story is of her cousin, Ed Langerveld and her brother, Bob Langerveld  and a good deed they both had a part in. Ed Langerveld is the owner, President, and CEO of Century Aviation, of Klamath Falls, Oregon. A pilot, Ed is qualified to fly many types of aircraft and has logged over 18,000 flight hours. Bob is a retired Air Traffic Flight Controller who worked O’Hare Airport in Chicago, one of the  country’s busiest sites.  

This past August 29th, a suicide bomber set off a blast at the Kabul Airport in Afghanistan killing 13 Americans and 170 Afghanistan citizens. One of the victims was Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee. Gee’s home town was Roseville, California where she graduated from Oakmont High School in 2016 and then enlisted in the Marine Corps. She worked hard, advanced quickly, and loved her job in the Corps. Her casket and remains were flown to Sacramento where she was honored with a procession from the airport and into the city. She was further honored and her life celebrated by a memorial service in Roseville.

Sgt. Gee’s remains were to be returned to Washington, D.C. for her scheduled burial at Arlington National Cemetery. Unfortunately, her family couldn’t afford the cost of a flight to the East Coast which would be tens of thousands of dollars. When Cindy’s cousin, Ed Langerveld, heard of the family’s plight, he volunteered to fly the casket back to D.C. on his jet at no cost to the family. To Ed, a former marine, it was a matter of Marine Corps tradition to take care of fallen comrades and their families.

Captain Ed’s mission on this flight was to pay homage to Sgt. Gee, and he wanted his plane to be referred to as something more special than just it’s call numbers. He proposed to call the flight “Patriot One.” There was only a week to get everything approved, and Ed wasn’t sure how to go about it. He called his cousin, Cindy’s brother, Bob Langerveld, and asked him what to do. Bob said he would make some calls and get back to him. One of the men Bob talked to said the change in call name would be acceptable if it were spelled out in the “notes” section of the aircraft’s flight plan. Easy enough.

The jet itself was dressed up for the occasion. A local Klamath Falls company designed a label with a Marine Corps motif. The decals were placed on either side of the fuselage, beneath the cockpit windows. The plane was also named for Sgt. Gee and her name was added just below the decals.

The flight made its way across the country. All radio calls were made to and from “Patriot One.” As each Air Traffic Controller dealt with the plane and handed it off to the next sector, it was “Patriot One” all the way.

As Americans, we can all be proud of the job that was done. And, thank you for your service, Sgt. Gee, and Ed, and Bob. Rest in peace, Nicole.

Dave Thomas

11/4/2021

Bond Meets Bond

The latest James Bond movie is in theaters now and apparently is doing well. That reminds me that I have a short James Bond story.

This was probably about 2005, give or take a couple of years. Pat and I were living in Keller, Texas. I had a mole behind my right ear that was becoming a problem. Quite often when getting a haircut, the barber would nick the ear, causing it to bleed. Wanting to get it removed, I mentioned it to my primary physician, Dr. Phillips, and he referred me to Dr. James Bond  who had an office on the Baylor Hospital campus in Grapevine, Texas.                                                                                                                                              I made an appointment and went to Grapevine. While being examined, I asked the doctor if he got a lot of kidding about his name. All the time,” he replied, “and I’ve got a little story for you.”   He went on to tell me that while in medical school, one of his best friends was a girl from California. After graduation, the girl doctor returned to California, to the Santa Barbara area, I think he said, but they kept in touch. After some period of time, Dr. Bond received a wedding invitation from his friend.   He flew to California and attended the wedding. At the reception, to his great surprise, he was introduced to Pierce Brosnan, who was currently starring in the James Bond action films. Dr. Bond and Brosnan joked about the name then visited for a while. Dr. Bond said that Brosnan  was as pleasant a man as he appeared to be.

Dave Thomas

10/24/2021

Hard to Believe

From the older guy

It’s impossible for me to understand the nurses who refuse to get the Covid 19 vaccination. That’s like saying they don’t believe in their chosen profession. Every day they dispense pills and give injections. Don’t they believe in the science that produced these beneficial drugs?

What about the personal feeling? The doctors, nurses, and staff people have been working insane hours for months…They have been treating the unvaccinated   people that are clogging our hospitals and dying due to their own foolishness. Don’t the nurses have smarts enough to resent those people and not want to be like them? Is it that the nurses are so brain-washed by the Fox News crap and the Trump cult they can’t think for themselves? I used to think the big word in medicine was “Hippocrates,” but in this case, maybe the word is “hypocrite”.

Dave Thomas

October  6, 2021

Wondering

Wondering

Sometimes I get tired of listening to the political nonsense, so I just sip my coffee and think about other important stuff. This morning I was wondering who figured out that the hide of a little animal called a chamois would be good for wiping your car off after washing it?

Dave Thomas 09/23/2021

This is Sad

A bunch of local cops are saying that they would resign from the force before they would get a mandatory Covid 19  shot. Whatever happened to “Protect and Serve”? Cops normally protect themselves. An officer in hot pursuit would make sure his seat belt and shoulder harness were secure. A motorcycle cop would be wearing a helmet so his brains wouldn’t get splattered all over the concrete.  A SWAT officer or an officer headed for a potential shootout would wear a bullet proof vest. Now, however, these mutts refuse to protect themselves against a virus that has killed more than 667,000 Americans… That means they will not be protecting their spouses, children, parents, grandparents, or you, or I.  All I can Say to these guys is “Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.”

Dave Thomas

9/11/2021

They Can’t Help It

Okay, Kids, this is about your Mom/Grandma/Great-Grandma, Patricia Ann Lee. It was during World War II, and Pat was living with her Grandma, Maude Lee, in the small town of Eureka, Kansas. Pat’s mom, Melba Lee, was living in Wichita and working at Beech Aircraft as a “Rosie the Riveter” and supervisor.

First grade had been a snap for Pat. She had read her books before school even started, and enjoyed all she learned during that first year.

Pat was really looking forward to second grade. Her school was near home, so on that first day, Grandma Lee walked to school with her and got her settled in. It was only a couple of days before things started going sideways. It turned out that little Miss Pat had become a talker. She talked incessantly from morning to night, and had the rest of the girls talking and giggling all day long. The teacher got tired of trying to shush her, and moved her to a desk that was surrounded by boys. “I’m not sitting with boys!” she yelled. “Boys are dirty, and they stink, and I hate them.”

For the next couple of days, Pat went to school then came home and complained about the dirty, stinking boys. Then, on the way to school, she had a brilliant idea. Between home and the school, there was a lush stand of bushes. Pat ducked into those bushes and found that there was plenty of room for her, and that she was well-hidden. She settled in to enjoy her first day as a truant. At noon, she could hear the kids get out of school, so she, too, went home for lunch.

That first day went well, but was dreadfully boring. Pat took care of this problem the next day by taking books and coloring books to her hideout. Pat enjoyed this subterfuge for a couple of days, but then her teacher walked over from school and knocked on Grandma Lee’s door. After greetings were exchanged, the teacher said, “Pat hasn’t been to school for a couple of days. Is she sick?” That opened the ball, and the two women quickly figured out what was going on. “I’ll take care of it,” said Grandma Lee. “Well, what if she does it again?” asked the teacher. “Don’t worry,” said Grandma Lee. “I’ll take care of it,” she repeated. The teacher left, and Grandma Lee grabbed her yardstick, and went looking for Pat. After a few whacks, Pat decided that attending second grade might be a good idea.

I felt that it was my duty to pass this story along so you would have it for reference. If one of your kids is acting up , and your mind is filled with words like “stubborn,” “bull-headed,” “willful,” and “obstinate,” maintain your calm. You should cut them some slack. It’s in their DNA.

Dave Thomas

9/9/2021